I have a std 22-250 chopped to 17". Lost velocity(a lot, I think), but I had the barreled action on hand and wanted a hand rifle. You may be defeating the purpose of the AI(i.e., increased whoop-dee-doo!) by chopping the tube.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: txgunnertx</div><div class="ubbcode-body">pretty much sums it up. Wanting a varmint barrel but don't want the extra weight and length. How much will it affect versus say a 24" barrel. </div></div>
If I were to guess it'd be in the vicinity of 100-125 fps less.
Since you apparently want a handy rifle ? I think a good compromise weight would be a light palma or Sendero contour. Also using a faster burning rate powder for the case/bullet weight might net you the best velocity in short barrel.
What twist and bullet weight were you considering?
I have been thinking about this as well. I want to run a 20" barrel with a suppressor. I was actually thinking 22-6mm ackley. Not sure what kind of velocities I would get with that set up. I was thinking at least 3400. It would make a hell of a coyote calling rig.
From personal experience on my 250 AI . No shorter than 22 inches. I started out at 26 inches a few years ago and have set it back twice. I am around 22 or 23 now. Lost a bit from the 26. I like the length now. I think I will use the barrel next for a 20 inch 223 barrel. If you like the idea of an AI on a 20 inch or less. What about a 223 AI? I can't recommend one as I have no experience with one. I am sure there are fellows here that have though. IMO